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The Ins and Outs of UK Unemployment

  • Smith, Jennifer

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

This paper shows that in the UK, increases in unemployment in a recession are driven by rises in the separation rate. A new decomposition of unemployment dynamics is devised that does not require unemployment to be in steady state at all times. This is important because low UK transition rates – one quarter the size of the US –imply substantial deviation of unemployment from steady state near cyclical turning points. In periods of moderation, the job finding rate is shown to have most influence on UK unemployment dynamics. Evidence comes from the first study of monthly data derived from individuals’ labour market spells recorded in the British Household Panel Survey from 1988 to 2008.

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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 944.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:944
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  1. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2006. "The cyclicality of job loss and hiring," Working Papers 06-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Michael W. Elsby & Ryan Michaels & Gary Solon, 2007. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 12853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert Shimer, 2007. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael W. L. Elsby & Jennifer C. Smith & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2011. "The role of worker flows in the dynamics and distribution of UK unemployment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 338-363.
  5. Michael Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegul Sahin, 2008. "Unemployment Dynamics in the OECD," NBER Working Papers 14617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2007. "The cyclicality of separation and job finding rates," Working Papers 07-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  7. Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2006. "Unemployment Fluctuations with Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 525, Society for Computational Economics.
  8. Regis Barnichon, 2009. "Vacancy posting, job separation and unemployment fluctuations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-83, June.
  10. Yashiv, Eran, 2006. "U.S. Labor Market Dynamics Revisited," IZA Discussion Papers 2455, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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